Imagine getting ready all year preparing for Burning Man to find out when you get there marijuana is prohibited? Nope you can’t smoke weed at Burning Man this year—despite the fact that recreational marijuana is completely legal in Nevada, where the festival is held. You can than the Bureau of Land Management because they consider it illegal because of Federal law. Pretty fucked up, right?
It’s so counter intuitive not to include herb at Burning Man. It’s almost as if they should be handing weed out like welcoming bouquets to encourage all Burners to relax and let go. Anyhow you can burn a man down at Burning Man but can’t burn down a joint. Well you can if you don’t get caught so see below on tips to minimize a marijuana buzzkill at this year’s Burn. .
Megan Miller, spokeswoman for Burning Man, states, “You’re not exempt from the law at Burning Man, and that is doubly true this year. I know the laws are evolving around this, and we’re in this middle point of figuring it all out, but marijuana is still illegal at Burning Man.”
Say what? Why is marijuana illegal if the state just passed a law stating it is legal? The answer is two fold. Burning Man is located on land own by the Bureau of Land Management aka the BLM. Plus Nevada state law doesn’t allow consumption in public places. BLM states:
“It will be enforcing the federal prohibition of all marijuana since the event is held on public lands, which make up 80 percent of the state. People found to be in possession of marijuana face fines up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months.”
Pershing County says that under an ounce (of marijuana), or under an eighth-ounce (of concentrate), we have no enforcement. If they encounter the BLM on the road—it will be a different story. So this is what you need to know if you don’t already. Herb is only accepted on the DL. Even though Nevada just joined 28 other states in legalizing marijuana it is still not OK to light up, well just don’t be too obvious is what the officials who are providing security are officially stating.
Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen says that, “If they show up with a hay bale of marijuana, it’s definitely going to be more than a citation. It’s going to be up to the discretion of the officer.”
Ironically, even if the event were not on federal land the thousands at Burning Man would still not be able to imbibe under Nevada state law.
“As far I’m aware, it would be illegal to consume openly and publicly regardless,” said Mason Tvert, a marijuana policy expert formerly with the Marijuana Policy Project. “If it is a private event, and it’s on private property, it might be a different matter.”